Biggest summer ski area: Zermatt
Skiing in summer? Totally possible! If you don’t mind waking up a little earlier than usual, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the Alps all through the sunny months of June, July, August and September. Just keep in mind that summer skiing means softer snow so unfortunately you’ll have to start the après-ski in the early afternoon... but that shouldn’t be too painful, should it? Of course, the selection of ski resorts is a little more limited, but we’ve compiled a list of the best summer ski areas in Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy in 2018. Click here to see the current snow depths in the Alps >
The Hintertux Glacier, the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and the Mölltaler Glacier are open throughout spring, summer, autumn and winter when snow conditions permit. Other ski resorts such as Tignes, Stilfser Joch and Les Deux Alpes only open their slopes for a limited time in the summer. The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier stays open until July and the Stubai Glacier until June. Saas-Fee takes a short break and then re-opens for summer skiing in mid-July. Cross-country skiing enthusiasts can also ski on the Glacier 3000 near Gstaad in Switzerland, where there are as many as 7km of trails open in the summer.
With skiing above 3000m, the Hintertux Glacier is the only year-round ski resort in Austria. Open 365 days a year, the ski area offers almost 20km of slopes in the summer months, as well as a snowpark with a 100m long superpipe for you freestylers!
The Hintertux Glacier is open 365 days a year
The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise at Zermatt has 21km of pistes, making it the largest summer skiing area in the Alps. Ski racers from all over the world come here to train in the summer on the especially long, wide slopes.
Fairly unique among summer ski areas is the Stelvio Pass, at the Ortler ski resort, which is only open in the summer – in winter, it gets so snowed-in that access is impossible! Starting May 26 this year, almost 10km of mainly blue pistes will be ready for skiing.
Summer skiing at the Stelvio Pass
The Mölltaler Glacier opens for summer skiing in mid-June. With slopes higher than 2800m, this ski resort is one of the snowiest summer ski areas in the Alps, boasting a snow depth of more than 200cm.
French ski resort Les Deux Alpes is renowned for its après-ski scene. From the end of June to the beginning of September, the glacier opens for summer skiing. The highlight is the large freestyle area, with ski jumps as long as 20m.
Tignes is located in the legendary Espace Killy ski resort in France. Thanks to its high altitude, it’s one of the snowiest places in the Alps. Summer skiing on the Grande Motte glacier, with slopes higher than 3000m, is generally available from the end of June through the beginning of August.
Summer skiing is possible on La Grande Motte glacier
Take the highest subway in the world up the Allalin (3500m) at 7am and you’ll arrive at the world’s highest revolving restaurant and a ski area boasting around 20km of slopes. The summer ski area at Saas-Fee Saastal is open from mid-July.
Stubai Glacier is open for skiing until June 3 this year. In the winter this is Austria’s largest glacier ski area with around 40km of slopes; in summer only the easier descents higher up on the Schaufelspitze (3333m) are open. See more details about the Stubai Glacier >
Salzburg’s only glacier, the striking Kitzsteinhorn Glacier (3203m) offers summer skiing until July 22. Highlights at Kitzsteinhorn include cross-country ski trails and a fantastic snow park. See more details about the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier >
Skiing on Austria's Kitzsteinhorn Glacier
1. Get up early! In the summer, most ski lifts open around 7:15am and close in the early afternoon around 2pm as the snow starts melting in the sunshine. 2. Bring real ski equipment: It seems counterintuitive in the blazing sunshine, but you’re best off bringing the essential ski equipment – gloves, helmet, ski jacket – in order to minimise your risk of injury. 3. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen! The sun is reflected off the snow and will turn you into a lobster even faster than at the beach!
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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